Date of Award

Summer 5-20-1982

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Department

School of Social Work

First Advisor

Grenier, Charles

Abstract

This study was designed to analyze the psycho-social adjustment of the recent Haitian refugees in the United States. Emphasis was placed on their social, political and economic attitudes, and on relevant cultural and socio demographic characteristics. For comparative purposes the study included a sample of Haitian refugees living in the Unites States and a matched sample of Haitians living in Haiti. In-depth, face-to-face, semi-structured interviews were conducted in New Orleans, Fort Lauderdale, Miami and various provinces in Haiti. In addition, a creole translation of the Middletown Alienation Scale was administered to subjects in New Orleans and in Haiti. Findings indicate that 100% of the Haitian refugees experienced powerlessness, meaninglessness and normlessness. 95% were estranged from work, and 50% were culturally estranged. Scores from the Haiti group did not differ from the U.S. group on powerlessness, meaninglessness and normlessness. However, 27%. were estranged from work, and none were culturally or socially estranged. Subjects from the provinces were significantly more alienated than subjects from Port-au-Prince. Farmers and fishermen were more aliented than laborers. Subjects wishing to return home to live were more likely to be alienated. No relationship was found between age, number of dependants, voodoo belief and alienation dimensions, contrary to the expectations as hypothesized. Both groups reflected high levels of alienation; however, the U.S. group was significantly more alientated than the Haiti group, as predicted.

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